How to turn on Now Playing and see music history on your Google Pixel

Google has made it easier than ever to see what music is playing near you. The company offers a handy exclusive feature for its Pixel phones called Now Playing, which was announced alongside the Google Pixel 2, but will also work on any Pixel released since then, including the Google Pixel 3 or the Pixel 3a. Now Playing automatically shows you the title and artist of any song playing near you on the lock screen of your Pixel phone. Not only that, but it keeps track of those songs — so you can go back and see what songs were playing at that party last night.

You have to enable this feature to get it to work, but thankfully that’s pretty easy to do. Here’s how to turn on Now Playing on your Google Pixel and see what songs you’ve heard recently.

How to turn on Now Playing

Now Playing shows songs that are playing in your vicinity right on your lock screen, but it is only supported on the Google Pixel 2 or later, so you won’t be able to follow these instructions on other phones or the original Pixel. Here’s how to turn it on:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Sound, then tap Now Playing.
  3. Turn on the switch next to Show songs on lock screen.
  4. When your phone is connected to Wi-Fi and charging, it will download a song database to recognize songs.
  5. Once your phone has downloaded the database, you’ll automatically get song info on the lock screen.

How to see your Now Playing history

Want to see a song that was playing yesterday? You can do that too. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Sound, then tap Now Playing.
  3. Make sure the switch next to Show songs on lock screen is on.
  4. Tap Now Playing History.
  5. You’ll then see a list of songs that have played near you.
  6. You can tap a song to listen to it or share it in your music app.

How to manage Now Playing notifications

Don’t want notifications to show up at the top of your display when a song is playing? You can switch off those notifications so that you’ll only see what’s playing on the lock screen. Here’s how to do so:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Sound, then tap Now Playing.
  3. Tap Notifications.
  4. Turn off the switch next to Show notifications.

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